First Person Account of Life Under the Boot of Socialism

A few weeks ago I spoke to a ninety year old woman who emigrated here from the Ukraine after World War II. She told me that she sees a lot of similarities between the rhetoric of the Democrats and their supporters and the old Soviets whose oppression she fled. She told me she is worried for her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren; but she is happy to see that there are some people informed about the dangers of communism. She lives near some of my relatives and we agreed to meet some day so she can tell me what life was like under the jack boot of socialism.

In the mean time, meet Zina Brodovsky, who was interviewed by Brad Zinn of Western Free Press. I’ve embedded the videos, and I also added a loose transcript below for those of you who can’t watch the videos. I don’t normally endeavor to transcribe 45 minutes worth of video, but these are the stories that need to be told if we are to save this republic. So please forgive any omissions or typos on my part.

Thanks to Adrienne’s Corner for posting these videos. I share her sentiments completely.

Zira Brodovsky told Brad Zinn that in the Soviet Union parents never talked about anything in front of their children. “At school, we were taught how beautiful our country is. The whole theme through early childhood was working for the state.”

When asked when she first felt like something wasn’t quite right, Zina replied “I believe it was after school. … It was one big lie from beginning to end. … Little by little people began to understand. … When leader after leader died, the next leader became the greatest leader. … Everybody knew, whatever leader we were talking about, he was lying.”

She was asked about government involvement in the lives of the people. ” Everything belonged to government. From the day care, to education… housing, manufacturers, mines … you name it, everything belonged to government. Nothing to the people.” She said that “everybody was trying to work less.”

When asked if there was an underground economy, Zina said “Absolutely.” There was a “big, big black market.” “The whole system was one huge corruption.” “Everybody could steal as much as they could.” When asked if it created resentment, she replied again “Absolutely!”

On what people talked about, Zina said there wasn’t much anyone could safely talk about. “Nobody talked about the horrors, but they all knew it. They couldn’t talk or risk being put in concentration camps. The system was really falling apart.”

Zina’s husband left the USSR in 1977 after the couple had children. Unfortunately, Zina stayed behind because her parents were quite ill and she didn’t want to leave them. After their passing, she did finally come to the US with her daughter, but it wasn’t easy. The Soviets didn’t want her to leave. She was called to the KGB in the 1980′s and was threatened for trying to leave the country. When Gorbachev took power he said that anyone who wanted to leave could do so. She took her daughter and got in the long line where one of the KGB agents remembered her. The agent told her she could leave, but would need written permission from her brother. She got the permission and finally went to the airport with her daughter who was about seventeen years old at the time. Before they were allowed to embark on their flight to freedom, Zina’s daughter was pulled aside by border patrol officers who tried to intimidate her into staying. At this point in telling her story, Zina becomes visibly emotional. Her daughter wanted to be with her mother, and they escaped the tyranny together.

Zina was asked about the claims of so many Americans that US corporations are monopolies. “What kind of monopoly [is it] when the government controls everything?” She told the story of working for a regional Russian/Ukrainian newspaper as a teenager. In the Ukraine, “Farm animals were dying. Reporters told us stock was dying by the hundreds or thousands, but their articles said everything was ‘very nice.’ The lies we lived through were unbelievable. .. Nobody told the truth, ever.”

In the second video Zina was asked about famine in the Ukraine under the “leadership” of Stalin. At the time a New York Times Reporter, Walter Durante, the Moscow bureau chief for the NYT, was tasked with covering the story. He reported that there were “sporadic instances of malnutrition,” even though the story was far worse. Zina was asked to fill in what Durante left out.

“There were the famines. One in 1921, shortly after the Revolution, and people started dying from starvation. The city didn’t have any food for the workers. So the Soviet government sent military units to the villages to take food from the villagers, and anyone who refused to do it … people called it ‘Red Terror.’ … The second time, after the ‘collectivization’ of 1931/32, it was man-made starvation for the Ukrainian people.”

When asked if the government decided it would be a man-made famine, Zina replied “I don’t now if they decided it would be a famine. … What I can tell you … when the Revolution started peasants were given land. The very poor peasants became not so poor anymore because their family was working, even the little children. So when the collectivization started in 1931/32, when peasants didn’t want to give the land to the collective farm, many of them were rooted out by the hundreds of thousands, sent to concentration camps, or sent to land that was never [productive]. The grain was taken from them, and if they refused to give grain they were shot on the spot.”

Zina went on to tell the story of Pavlik Morozov. The Soviets went to his home when he was a young teenager. The armed forces were there to take the family’s grain. Morozov’s father had hidden a bag of grain to keep for his family, and young Pavlik told the soldiers what he had done. The father was shot, and then Pavlik was shot by relatives in retaliation. The boy became a hero of Soviet literature and generations of Soviet children learned to admire the boy who ratted out his parents.

“The brainwashing of the population, especially the young ones, was unbelievable. … This unbelievable propaganda, the unbelievable propaganda, through all his life.”

Yes, Marxism turns families against each other. Let it be a lesson.

On the famine during the collectivization period, it gets even worse. “So bad, people became cannibals. They were eating their own children. You can look through the internet and see the pictures of the dead bodies laying on the streets.” Yet it was hidden from the world. They were making movies about the beautiful life lived in the Soviet Union as people starved to death. During this time “They estimate that up to twelve million people died from starvation… Nobody said anything about that.”

One of the most powerful things this lovely woman said during the interview is something I believe could be our downfall. “People don’t know history, and history repeats itself, again, and again, and again.” She pointed out that the 20th century was the most brutal century in the history of the world. “Government always kills its own people. Up until the 20th century it was estimated that governments killed about 175 million people [in all time]. In the 20th century [alone], governments killed 200 million people.”

She said nobody can tell you exactly how many innocent people the Soviets killed, but “some say between 20 and 50 million people. …What is absolutely sure … millions of absolutely innocent people were rooted out from their families, sent to concentration camps, labor camps – they were real slaves that were working to bring up the industry of the Soviet Union. If they were dying by the thousands it didn’t matter, because new thousands would come over there. It was unimaginable terror for many, many years. And nobody was saved through the Soviet Union.”

When asked about the promise of Marxism and Dialectical Materialism, Zina scoffed. It was something so ingrained in her since childhood, she didn’t even need to study it to pass the tests. She did say she never opened books because it was “all lies… all nonsense.”

When Zina came to the United States in 1987 it was like a whole new world to her. Instead of waiting in long lines for basic necessities of life, she had choices. She was asked how she reacted when she came to America.

“I remember I saw on the corner a bus giving people food who were just walking about. And not only the food in this country – the opportunities! Just unbelievable! You cannot even blame American people for not knowing anything else, because they did not live anything else. They did not see anything different.”

Let me just add right here that if our educators did their jobs properly, the American people would know. Anyway, back to the story.

“Here people are talking about ‘share’ and ‘social justice.’ I’m thinking about what happened in my country. I’m thinking about the older I become, I’m thinking about this more and more.”

When asked if what’s happening in the US today reminds her of her unfortunate past, she was quite clear. “You know, if people don’t know the history, the country is just doomed. … People don’t know what is happening. If people in this country think that nothing can ever happen to them, or this country, well, Russian people never knew it would happen to them. … What they got, millions killed, the whole country became a huge concentration camp, lies, cannibalism. That’s what they got, after they started yelling ‘Viva Socialism, Viva Socialism!’ And that’s what socialism brought to them – misery. Slavery. Unbelievable suffering by millions and millions and millions of absolutely innocent people.”

Brad Zinn asked about the belief that Socialism/Marxism/Leninism/Communism just hasn’t been tried by the right people; if only we had better leaders we would find Utopia.

“I would say that as many times as it’s been tried in different countries – the Soviet Union, the European Bloc that Soviets controlled until very recently, nothing worked. Whenever socialism became a regime, immediately they started concentration camps. They started putting people in concentration camps. People became slaves. They started killing people. People are people. It doesn’t matter what country they live in. The more they [communists] control the power, that’s it. They live absolutely different lives than the rest of the population. They have different stores, they have different hospitals. They live like kings and queens, and the rest of the population are just slaves, no matter what country it is.”

Zina was then asked about what happened to the people I call “useful idiots” who advocated for a change to socialism. “Those people became the first victims of the regime! If you look at the pictures of the people who made the revolution together with Lenin, all of them were executed. If you look at the pictures of the many Politburo members that went together with Stalin, except Stalin, everybody was executed. So the very people that delivered the Revolution, they were the very first to be executed.”

Zina was then asked about what I call the “useful idiots” in the US pushing for socialism.

“I look at them like they’re, excuse me, idiots. They don’t know what they want. What exactly do they want? They don’t work. Somebody else feeds them. Somebody else gives them money. They have very expensive computers and telephones, etc, etc, etc. What do they want? They don’t work. … What will happen to them? I know what will happen to them. I know exactly what happened to people in Russia, and there is nothing new to it. The same happened with the people dying in the French Revolution. When Denton was taken to the guillotine, Robespierre was watching him out of the window of his flat, and Denton cried to him ‘Robespierre, you are the next one!’ And that happened to Robespierre as well. So nothing is new.”

She was then asked about the Soviet intolerance of religion. (Sound familiar?)

“Lenin proclaimed that ‘Religion is the opium of the people!’ So no religion should be everywhere. The churches were closed or leveled. Synagogues, everything, was closed. Beautiful churches and synagogues became museums or gyms. It was such a strong propaganda against any religion, in the schools, and I did it as a teacher. We were obligated, it was our first responsibility. It doesn’t matter what subject you teach. However, I shall tell you, that it cannot be empty space. Something has to fill this space, this spot of the religion. It was required that… communism became our religion.”

Believe it or not, there’s even more. You’ll have to watch the videos to get it all. But does any of this sound just a wee bit familiar? Are we seeing hints – if not really loud warnings – of it here in the United States where we all think nothing bad can ever happen? Hello? Listen to this woman, she knows it when she sees it. She wants her story to be heard to keep us from following the same path of misery, as she noted in her closing. A message for all of us. “You have to cherish this country as much as possible. Because it is, if you think for one moment, why everyone from around the world wants to come here. From China, from North Korea, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, Romania, you name it, everybody wants to come here but nobody wants to go there. Why? Because people left everything behind – their homes, their friends, their families, their relatives, their money, their jobs – and came here like me – without any language, any skills, nothing. Just the hope of a better future for their children… The only thing I can tell the American people, please, cherish this country, there is no other country….”

Are we going to listen to Zina Brodovsky, or will we ignore her? God bless this woman for putting her story and warning out there. The big question is, will anyone listen? I certainly hope so. I did my part. Will you?

Update: After reading this and watching the videos, ask yourself, why has Hollywood showed such a lack of interest in depicting the lives of the people who endured such tyranny. I would think it would make for some pretty interesting movies. But for years, they’ve avoided it for the most part. That’s because the people whose salaries you pay with your entertainment dollars are the useful idiots who push communism on the masses! Stop supporting them. Please.